They didn’t deserve it. There I said it. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for a last second goal with 7 seconds left in the game Flames fans would be crying for blood. The reality is the team played marginally better than they have in the last couple games and would be facing the ire of fans everywhere if they didn’t get lucky.
In the grand scheme of things the Flames are playing like they did in November, but then they started winning, luckily at first, but then the snowball got rolling. You’d think a level of consistency would hit the team given their age, however, that’s been one of the hardest things to come by.
Iginla Leads Flames–Barely
Dion Phanuef, much maligned for his defensive zone problems, and rumored to be signing a multi-year deal with the Flames, got things started early in the third period. He accounted for the first two Flames goals from nearly the same spot. The second goal fooled everyone on the ice as he wound up for a blast from the past and instead broke his stick to have the puck travel at the speed of one of my slapshots.
The team and the fans finally decided to show up for the last ten minutes of the game. Iginla, in the worst scoring slump that nearly extended to 11 games managed to squeak in a quick wrister top shelf with 8 second left to tie the game–the place went nuts. Iginla despite not showing for most of the game had the Gordie Howe hat-trick and also did one better.
OT was exciting but solved nothing. In the shoot-out two things happened. Kiprusoff was solid as he was late in the game stopping all the shooters. Iginla on the other hand was the only shooter to score, and this time on a nice backhand move. So that was the end, there you have, the Flames pull out two points in a game that could have bumped them low to 9th place in the NW division. They stole points in a game they shouldn’t have won, but sometimes you need these kinds of wins to turn the corner.
Next up Chicago Thursday.
Notes: Nilson and Smith got back into the lineup with Primeau sitting out and Godard getting a one-game suspension for his third game misconduct of the year (accrued in Edmonton Monday.)